Turn the page?

中国日报网 2012-12-14 12:50



Turn the page?

Reader question:

Please explain this sentence: He thinks they have turned the page on mistrust.

My comments:

He had made up with a friend.

I think.

He had a quarrel, misunderstanding or something with someone and for a time, they no longer trusted each other. Now, they’ve buried the hatchet and patched up. He thinks so, and got back to being friends again.

Buried the hatchet? Yeah, the hatchet is an axe that can hurt people. You bury it so that no-one can use it again.

Patched up? Like, you’ve got holes in your shirt and so you stitch pieces of cloths (patches) over them and make that shirt whole again. When two friends patch up, they are able to iron out, so to speak, their differences and make their relationship wholesome again.

Anyways, for people to turn the page is the same as for them to turn a new leaf (page of a book), meaning they’re ready to make a fresh start.

Apparently, both these terms (turn the page and turn a new leaf) derive from book reading. When you finish reading a page, you turn for another page. On the next page, of course, there’s something new and so figuratively speaking for you to turn the page on some past deed, you move on to something new.

Well, you may argue that there are writers who write the same stuff – every book they write, it’s the same tiresome subject matter – but they’re exceptions to the rule. Generally speaking, when you turn the page of a book, you’ll see something new, perhaps more exciting.

Hence the metaphor. One of Barack Obama’s election campaign slogans, if I remember correctly, is: “It’s time to turn the page for hope.” The message: Time to rekindle hope for one and all, especially poor and middle class Americans. And that message have apparently hit home as Obama got elected last month for a second term.

Alright, here are media examples of other people turning the page:

1. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy on Wednesday dismissed as “insignificant” rumors of infidelity by her and her husband, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and brushed off theories that lies were planted in a plot to bring down the glamorous couple.

She said in an interview with Europe 1 radio that she and Sarkozy “have turned the page” and suggested the media to do the same.

The rumors started in early March by appearing on the blog of a French Sunday newspaper. The rest of the French media initially took a don’t-touch approach, even though some foreign newspapers, notably British, published the rumors. They alleged that both the first lady, a former top model, and the president were having affairs.

The reports made headlines in France last weekend with interviews by Sarkozy’s lawyer and a top aide close to the first lady who both held out the possibility that the rumors were part of a plot aimed at “destabilizing” the presidential couple.

But on Wednesday, Bruni-Sarkozy said: “For me and my husband these rumors are insignificant. ... There is no plot. There is no vengeance. There is nothing. We have turned the page.”

- Carla Bruni Has ‘Turned The Page’ On Affair Rumors, HuffingtonPost.com, June 7, 2010.

2. Within 20 years Switzerland should have turned the page on nuclear energy. But what to do with the tens of thousands of tonnes of waste?

Scientists at the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) are testing a storage system using multiples barriers, where waste could be kept for centuries until it becomes harmless.

Today, Swiss nuclear waste is cooled very slowly in massive pools in power stations themselves and in the interim storage facility for nuclear waste in Würenlingen, canton Aargau. In 2006, the government imposed a ten-year moratorium on the export of nuclear waste. Since then no waste has been sent for recycling at French reactor maker Areva’s factory in The Hague. Areva claims that 96 per cent of rods used in French reactors are re-enriched to be re-used as fuel – a figure that makes Greenpeace activists glow with anger. For the environmental organisation, the real number is ten times lower – the difference being explained by the illegal export of rods to dumps in Siberia. In June the cabinet decided to decommission Switzerland’s five nuclear power reactors by 2034, once they reach the end of their lifespan. But when it comes to nuclear facts and figures, nothing is ever simple or transparent.

- Burying the nuclear waste problem, SwissInfo.ch, August 30, 2011.

3. Lifted by a show of Republican unity that once seemed so distant, Mitt Romney plunged into the presidential campaign's final 67 days focused more than ever on jobs and the economy, and depicting President Barack Obama as a well-meaning but inept man who must be replaced.

“America has been patient,” he told the nation. “Americans have supported this president in good faith. But today, the time has come to turn the page.”

Obama, who will hold his own convention next week, served notice that he will use his powers of incumbency to make Romney’s mission hard. Obama planned to visit a Texas military base exactly two years after declaring the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, the war that haunts the last Republican president. This, as Democrats prepare to gather in Charlotte, N.C., for Obama’s convention.

Romney capped a high-energy night closing the Republican National Convention with a spirited and unusually personal speech infused with his family life, touching on his Mormon faith and recounting his youth. The cheers were loud and frequent, surely music to the ears of a candidate who struggled throughout the bruising primary season and beyond to bury doubts among many in his party that he was the authentic conservative in the field.

“Now is the time to restore the promise of America,” Romney declared to a nation struggling with unemployment and the slowest economic recovery in decades.

- Romney asks US to ‘turn the page’ on Obama, AP, August 31, 2012.



About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.


End game?

He said, she said

Cookie-cutter excuses?

Playing possum?

Back seat?

(作者张欣 中国日报网英语点津 编辑:陈丹妮)

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